Skip to comments.Herman Cain wins Florida straw poll in stunning victory; Rick Perry in deep trouble
Posted on 09/24/2011 5:24:39 PM PDT by iowamark
From the bottom of the polls to the top of the pack, businessman Herman Cain won the Republican Party of Floridas nationally watched presidential straw poll Saturday in a sign that frontrunner Rick Perry is in deep trouble.
Cains victory with 37 percent of the vote was a major defeat for Perry, the frontrunner in Florida and national polls, who garnered only 15 percent after wooing the nearly 3,000 party faithful with a free breakfast and mailers.
The vote also showed how soft Republican support is for Mitt Romney, who came in third with 14 percent. Unlike Perry, though, he avoided schmoozing the GOP voters, called delegates.
"Folks, this is what you call momentum," Cain, the former CEO of Godfathers Pizza, said in a video message from his campaign bus. "The Herman Cain train is picking up steam."
That means more national media attention, heightened standing in the race and access to more fundraisers.
The straw poll is a mock election and doesnt necessarily reflect the sentiment of the voters at large. In past years, it has predicted the partys national nominee, but that streak could be in jeopardy because even some Cain voters had doubts about whether he was ready to be the partys nominee.
Still, the vote is a major indication of how badly damaged Perry was by a poor debate performance Thursday when he fumbled answers and failed to give specifics.
Many straw poll voters were especially dissatisfied by the answers Perry gave over his moderate immigration position, the Ponzi scheme of Social Security and his plan to inoculate girls from human papillomavirus.
I came in thinking Rick Perry, said Tommy Langford,a Gilchrist County commissioner who voted for Cain. I didnt like the debate at all. I really thought Perry lost it. Mitt Romney called him on immigration. He said we have to take care of them. Not if theyre illegal, we dont.
Another big loser: Michele Bachmann, who came in last place. Once a top-tier candidate who won the Iowa straw poll, she has fallen from sight in the debates where she, too, fails to give specifics, excite delegates here or even reach out to them.
Perry issued a written statement congratulating Cain, saying the vote underscored the fact that the conservative message of job creation, fiscal responsibility and limited government is gaining momentum.
Floridians and voters nationally want a candidate who is clear on the issues and talks honestly about the future, Perry said, not someone who takes multiple sides of an issue and changes views every election season. Todays vote demonstrates that Floridians are energized and ready to help get America working again.
Pinellas County delegate Rachelle Warmouth said that, if Perry lost, it wouldnt be the end of his campaign. But when or lose, the debate performance and the effect its having on party loyalists are a call to step up his game.
Hell have to have a strong recovery, she said. He needs to focus on his message.
Warmouths friend, Eileen Blackmer, agreed: He needs to work on the three Cs: Be clear, be concise, be complete.
Lee County delegate Dane Eagle said hes for Romney. He likes the candidates message and polish on stage. And he fears that President Obama would walk all over Perry in debates.
Thats what Obama does, Eagle said. He debates.
St. Johns County delegate Randy Covington said he arrived in Orlando ready to vote for Perry, but the debate "shattered" that plan. Covington decided to support Cain after the businessman"s rousing speech on Saturday at the Conservative Political Action Conference. That event was wedged in between the partys Presidency 5 Thursday debate and Saturday straw poll.
But Convington said he wasnt sure if Cain would or should be the nominee. He said the primary shouldnt be a two-man race.
"We need this process to go on," Covington said.
Gov. Rick Scott, who announced the results from the Orange County Convention Center stage, said the candidates need to take very seriously whatever the results are.
"It shows you something. Florida is important," Scott said from the Orange County Convention Center stage. "It pays to be here."
You sir, may have just coined Mr. Cain's signature campaign slogan. I love it!
No, the only story here is that unlike Romneycare, Perry spent a ton of money and put in the effort to win this poll, and lost badly.
he’s counting on the non republicans to get him the nominee like Mc Cain did or the socially liberal elitist half baked pretend conservatives up in the north east
Cain Eviscerates, Utterly Destroys, Crashes, Kills, Annihilates, Demolishes, Eradicates, Exterminates, Extirpates and completely Wipes Out Perry and Romney........ as well as everyone else on board.
Perry and Romney were seen holding hands and crying their eyes out.
Off in the distance Obama could be heard screaming, “But I’m Black, I won, I’m beautiful and damn it— I AM BLACK!!!”
“If you add Perry and Mitts percentages, they combined barely beat Cain. That is pathetic for both of them.”
Mtyh Romney 14%
15 + 14 = 29; 29 is less then 37 by 8 points.....
>>> Sarahs my #1, Cain #2. If Sarah doesnt jump in Im on the Cain Train.
I’ve been thinking for quite a while that Palin is more interested in the VP slot.... but strategically speaking, sitting out is not a very smart way to get it...
Unless of course her shoulder has already been tapped... (Cain maybe?)
From what I’ve seen, Cain has the fire in his belly.
The two biggest lessons for me in ‘08 was 1) Huck organizing thru the churches in Iowa right under everyone’s noses to win the caucus, and 2) McCain taking the whole shooting match after literally being dead in the water just a few months earlier. It taught me that conventional wisdom is often idiotic and to never get complacent again about the nomination process.
I think this one’s going to have alot of twists/turns/surprises too.
“Perry in deep trouble”... they forgot to add “Romney needs to start packing for home”.
Anyone else see the obvious illogical slant in this statement?
We are having a race. Explain to me how the one that is in the lead, that is to say “ahead” of everyone else, is the one that is in deep trouble?
Join Team Cain - Become An ACTIVE Supporter-- FRMail Me
But he’s not BLACK. He’s mulatto...only HALF black.
Must be hard for pure blacks to vote for a half white guy
since we know how racist they can be.
Could I please be added to your ping list?
Ah thank you!
Yep and Conservatives are going to have to fight like heck to win this one. 0 and the Progressives are not going to go without a fight. Thing look good now but it is a very long way to election day.
You should include these two links
Herman Cain Facebook
Herman Cains Twitter
There is nothing stunning about this. We are in the era of anti-incumbency. So people are going to vote for outsiders.
Excellent point and then add to it the typical Chamber crowd argument that roofing in the hot sun, brick-laying,dish-washers,etc will not be done by the Americans so if we follow Perry’s idea of providing instate tuition plus grant monies who the h*ll will they have to do these jobs if EVERYBODY IS DESERVING OF A COLLEGE EDUCATION? We need to rethink this silly mantra in this country and get Americans back to work with a fair wage for manuel skill sets.
Yes !!! Congrats !